Energy Efficiency Directive

Setting the direction for energy efficiency in the EU
EED recast proposalenergy efficiency first

The Energy Efficiency Directive (EED)  is the key legislation setting the overall framework to deliver energy savings across the European Union. The directive was established in 2012 and revised in 2018 to include a 2030 perspective. Already in 2013, the Coalition has developed a guidebook that helps with the implementation of the EED. 

The EED sets the 2020 and 2030 energy efficiency targets and a series of measures that contributes to their achievement.

2020 energy efficiency target

The EED sets an indicative energy efficiency target for 2020, which is a reduction of energy consumption of 20% compared to PRIMES 2007 projections.

In a recent report, the European Commission found that Europe’s 2020 energy efficiency targets for primary and final energy consumption were overachieved, with, in 2020, primary energy being 5.8% and final energy being 5.4% below their respective targets. However, this overachievement is mainly the result of the COVID-19 impacts and lockdown measures.

2030 energy efficiency target

For 2030, the EU energy efficiency target is currently set to an at least 32.5% reduction of energy consumption (compared to PRIMES 2007 projections, for more information read our guide to the energy efficiency target). To achieve this headline target, Member States must set their own ‘indicative’ national energy efficiency contributions in their National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs). According to the Commission’s NECPs assessment, the collective Member States’ contribution leaves a gap to the 2030 energy efficiency target of 2.8% for primary energy and 3.1% for final energy.

AEnergy savings obligation (Article 7)

According to the current EED, Member States must deliver new annual energy savings of 0.8% for the period from 2021 to 2030; they can achieve those savings either by putting in place Energy Efficiency Obligation Schemes or alternative measures, such as building renovations. Savings must be achieved among energy end-users and must be additional to those resulting from the implementation of EU legislation, such as EU standards for products or vehicles. Given the indicative nature of the energy efficiency target, Article 7 represents a key provision of the Directive, which is due to contribute to more than half of the total energy savings needed to achieve the EU’s 2020 and 2030 energy efficiency targets.

Click here to know more. 

Exemplary role of public buildings (Article 5) 

Article 5 of the EED requires public authorities to renovate 3% of the total floor area of buildings owned and occupied by central governments, or to adopt alternative measures that deliver the same amount of energy savings. 

Other articles of the EED are also central for the delivery of energy savings, such as Article 8 on energy audits, Article 12 on awareness-raising programmes, Article 14 on heating & cooling, Article 16 on qualification and certification schemes, and Article 18 on energy services.

On the 14th of July 2021, the European Commission published a proposal to recast the EED as a part of the Fit for 55 package, given the significant contribution of energy savings to reach a higher 2030 climate target. Click here to know more.


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